Monday, March 23, 2015


Querida Familia,

     So much happened this week and I wrote a list so that I could remember it all and then I lost the list. I will do what I can:)

     First and foremost, I almost got attacked by a mangy dog in that one trailer park I wrote about last week. Hermana McRae and I were knocking doors and we got into a lesson. After we left the lesson, this little dog started barking at and bothering my companion. This dog has likely never had a bath and is potentially feral. I saw Hispanic lady standing outside a few trailers down and started to head that direction. I told Hermana McRae to kick at the dog and he would run away. She's a cat person so I think she might have been a little scared. So I stepped in the way and started kicking at the dog to get him to leave. I was also walking towards the lady and the dog kept following me. He wasn't scared of me! I kicked some dirt and rocks in his face and he kept jumping at my leg. I didn't think it was that big of a deal until Hermana McRae asked what I was doing. Then I realized that the dog was truly trying to bite me and he was probably going to draw blood because my legs were bare. It was at that moment that I got pretty scared. Then out of nowhere, the Hispanic lady I was trying to contact came running at the dog with a giant stick! The dog went running and crying down the street! Then she threw some little pebbles at him, haha:) The lady was sooo cute! She may have been shorter than Clarissa Miller. Her name is Maria and she's from Mexico, but she speaks practically no Spanish, just dialect. We thanked her and gave her a picture of Jesus:)

     Okay now I can write about all the other stuff that happened. I just had to make sure you all knew that I got attacked by a mangy, little perrito in a trailer park.

     On Monday we had Sisters' P-day which was fun and I will hopefully be sending pictures from Hermana McRae's camera! We had a birthday celebration to celebrate all of our birthdays!

     Tuesday was when the dog attacked me. And we also had interviews with President Wilson! We mostly talked about me finishing my mission and what I still hope to accomplish before going home. Afterwards we went with Him and Sister Wilson to eat dinner at the super expensive steak house again. It was a lot less awkward with Sister Wilson;) It was fun because their daughter is serving in San Diego and she has her P-days on Tuesdays. They received her email while we were eating and we got to hear about how she's doing.

     On Wednesday we had a crazy miracle! So we meet these two sisters, Marixa and Sonia, from Olancho (Honduras) and start to teach them. Sonia recently moved here two weeks ago from Alexandria and said that she was receiving the Hermanas over there! And that she never got to say goodbye to them before leaving! So I bet those Hermanas are mourning over her loss and they have no idea that we found her here! I guess we'll find out all of that stuff when our Savior comes again. Anyway, at the end of the lesson, we invited them to come to church. We told them where it was, and they said that their sister-in-law Ana was attending that church. That's Ana our investigator! We're hoping that if we can get her in-laws to progress that Ana will have a greater desire to get baptized! 

     It was also a miracle because Marixa lives in Massanetta Springs, a little Presbyterian community/town south of Harrisonburg. Hermana McRae and I went there once because from the map it looked like there was a trailer park there. (Long thin streets stacked on top of each other.) We drove around a bit and it seemed like a very affluent area so we never returned. It ends up that she lives on one of the streets that we had passed! We had felt prompted to go and check, and there was a Hispanic living there! We're hoping we can find more!

     Oh, back to Tuesday. We met with the Cedeno family and taught Alejandro about the Plan of Salvation. It was really great and he accepted the date April 5th! He's going to get baptized at 10 before Conference! (Conference starts at 12 and 4 here for EST.) He's technically a child-of-record baptism because his mom is a member and he's 8, but they haven't been active for years and their records are still in Puerto Rico. They came to church again on Sunday and stayed all 3 hours and really enjoyed it:) estoy muy contenta!

     Speaking of child-of-record baptisms, there's a recently returning family and their son Denis was baptized on Saturday. We went by Friday to make sure everything was ready and to see if they needed any help. They fed us this shrimp soup stuff with a fish tail in it. I don't really like seafood, but I can eat it if I need to. It was just a little icky having to pull of the eyes, the skin, the antennae and all. 

     Anyway, so this is a pretty dramatic story. (But not as scary as the dog story, so you can sit down Mom.) We asked if they needed help with decorations or set up, and they said that the RS President was in charge of all the decorations and set up and take down and that she had promised them that she'd take care of it. We asked them what they were expecting, and they said balloons on the walls, and helium balloons on the tables. (It was also the kid's birthday party.) And of course, lots of food.

     So afterwards we called the RS President to make sure she was in on all of this and when she wanted us to arrive. We planned to be there two hours before to fill the font and set up. We asked her about the balloons and she said that the RS couldn't afford them so she wasn't going to get them. Now, I know what you're thinking...not a big deal. But in the Hispanic world, this is a HUGE DEAL. If the Hermana has an expectation, especially for a party, and the expectation is not met, it is just NOT GOOD. This Hermana in particular hasn't always like Hermanas and we were doing everything we could to win back our reputation. We couldn't just call her back and tell her no balloons. She would have been so angry. 

     So I decided that I would just buy the balloons. The RS President said she had purchased balloons for an activity a few weeks ago and spent over $40 on 15 balloons. We were going to have 8 tables, so for 3/table would be 24 balloons, so I was looking at spending $60 or $70 for balloons. 

     This is going to sound super dumb...but we have this unofficial tradition among the Sisters in the VRM called the "going home outfit." The week or two before you go home, you get to go to the mall and buy yourself something nice as a reward for serving an awesome mission. All the Sisters in the Zone that went home last transfer did it. Hermana Penaloza did it, Sister Nelson, Sister Walker, etc. It's a thing. Anyway, Mom said she's put a little bit of money on my account and I was hoping to buy a new sweater or blouse to wear home. I wasn't going to go crazy, but I did want something new. Especially since I've been really good and haven't purchased new clothes since arriving in Harrisonburg. But I knew that buying these balloons would mean no "going home outfit."

     I was praying Friday night for more patience with these Hermanas. And I told Heavenly Father that I'm not trying to be vain, I just want a nice new shirt to wear home. And so I asked him to prepare a way for me to buy something new as well as buy the balloons.

     We went to Walmart Saturday morning and....they only cost $.50 per balloon!!! :D :D :D

     I don't know where the RS President spent $40+ on 15 balloons, but I got 27 for under $15! I felt so blessed for being willing to sacrifice, and then I didn't even have to sacrifice! I know it was something silly and simple, but I know that Heavenly Father is so desirous for us to be happy! Especially on our missions!
     We showed up two hours early and decorated and everything. We didn't exceed expectations, but we did meet them. Which was a much better alternative to disappointment;) And the baptism was nice, the food was delicious, and there was a pinata. Watching kids hit pinatas is like my new favorite hobby.

*Okay other stuff...

     We met this sweet Puertoriquena named America. She's a widow and lives on her own. We visited her a few times, but her son who's from another religion convinced her to not get baptized. On Saturday she broke the news to us but was very sweet about it. We offered to do some service for her and helped her do a few cleaning projects and then she fed us some really delicious food. Two of her grandsons were there too and one of them is deaf. I practiced my sign language (I only know the alphabet, haha) and that was neat. Lindsay would have been so proud:) It was sad that she doesn't want to learn more, but she's very old and confused a lot and we're not really sure how accountable she is. 

     Ana came to the baptism, but couldn't come to church because she has family in town. She's sad that I'm leaving, but I don't know if that will convince her to get baptized;)

That's all for this week. See you soon?;)

Love you all lots:)

Hermanita Crandall

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